How to Stop Videos from Automatically Playing on Facebook (and why it happens)

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Facebook users may have noticed that video has become a much more prominent feature over the past year with advertisers, news organizations and businesses heavily pushing video content to attract users. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Facebook's default setting where videos will "autoplay" on both a desktop and mobile device as you scroll through your timeline. While there are many reasons why Facebook has this as a default setting (one of which is view numbers), some users aren't appreciative of these videos and would rather not have them automatically play. If you fall into this camp, you're in luck, as we have a simple guide on how to turn off auto-playing videos.

The Reason Facebook Automatically Plays Videos

Why do videos autoplay? For Facebook, it's all about the numbers and with their current set up, just spending 3 seconds on a video counts as a view, pushing videos that have more views out to even more people. While you could argue, especially for businesses and content creators that 3 seconds is hardly enough time to fully take in the intended content, Facebook has shown no signs of changing this, meaning that some businesses and creators have had to change their videos to draw attention within those initial 3 seconds. Movie previews are a great example. No longer do you see the traditional green background and the "This Preview has Been Approved for All Audiences" intro, but rather you'll see a brief glimpse of exciting scenes from the preview before the full preview starts. 

How to Stop Video from Automatically Playing 

Step 1. Go to your settings on the top right portion of Facebook for desktop users. 

Step 2. Click on the option that says "Videos". For desktop users, it will in the left menu. 

Step 3. Finally, click on the drop down menu next to Autoplay Videos and select "Off".

For mobile, follow these four steps.

Step 1. Tap the icon on the far right. It should be represented by three lines. Tap on it.

Step 2. Scroll down and tap on App Settings.

Step 3. Tap Autoplay.

Step 4. Choose the option to disable autoplay.



There is no doubt that video is an essential component of any kind of promotion, but it goes without saying that Facebook's attempt to put videos on your feed and play them without your initial consent can rub some users the wrong way. Thankfully thanks to these steps detailed above, the user can choose how they experience this new form of promotion and storytelling on Facebook. All great platforms allow the user to an extent to control what they use the platform and how they experience it. Facebook, despite its sometimes rigid structure, is no exception. 

If you want to learn more about social media functions and how they can help your business, please email me at I'd love to hear from you.